For sophomore Early Childhood Education student Kennedy Walker, Gumberg library is more than just a place she comes to work — it’s a place she makes connections, feels included, and dreams of her future.
Kennedy has been employed as a student aide in the Maureen P. Sullivan Curriculum Center since she transferred to Duquesne in the fall of 2022. Beloved by many, the Curriculum Center houses a collection of PreK-12 educational resources designed to support students and programs on campus working with children. Within its bright and welcoming walls, students can find everything from DVDs, games and puppets to textbooks and lesson planning materials.
Kennedy found herself drawn to the Curriculum Center from her very first visit. “Before transferring to Duquesne, I came to visit and when I saw the Curriculum Center, I knew immediately that I wanted to work there,” she said.
Even at that first visit, she noticed the library felt like an open and inclusive environment where she could feel welcome amidst the anxiety of transferring. Now, in her work at the Center, Kennedy strives to help others feel supported and included.
“I figured that I would probably find a job being a quiet student behind a desk and a computer, but after transferring to Duquesne, I am now a student that is interactive and is fueled by the passion for helping others in the Curriculum Center,” she said. Kennedy can see Duquesne’s mission to serve students actualized in the resources and support offered at Gumberg. And it’s a mission that she loves to participate in.
“From the students and alumni that I see walk in and out of the Curriculum Center day-to-day, they are always filled with a passion for what books, games, manipulatives, and other services that the library provides,” she said. “Every time, they leave with a smile on their face.”
Working in the Curriculum Center aligns perfectly with her work as a student in the School of Education. She’s gained a broader awareness of all the resources that exist for teachers, gotten to connect with others who share her passions, and been given more opportunities to learn. And when she’s in the Center, she can’t help but imagine her future as a teacher.
“Seeing all the games, books, and even the design of the library gives me ideas for my future classroom or space for the students that I hope to one day work with,” she said.
Kennedy is pursuing her academic goals with an even bigger goal in mind. She wants to return to Hershey, PA, where she was a student at the Milton Hershey School, and make a positive impact on the community.
“I want to move back there so that I can give back to the community what this community once gave, and continues to give, to me,” she said. “I believe following my passion will allow me to make my mark on my community and within the world,” Kennedy said. “Whether this is big or small, I know that I will be able to have some positive impact on one’s life.”